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Foundry Methodist Church
Foundry Methodist Church, 1880s

Foundry Methodist Church
Foundry Methodist Church, 1864

Foundry Methodist Church (1)

14th and G Streets
Constructed in 1864-66, demolished in 1902

In 1863/64, Cluss and Kammerhueber designed their first church, Foundry Methodist. It was to replace the Congregation's original 1815 building at 14th and G Streets NW location. Shortages of iron and lumber during the Civil War slowed construction and doubled the estimated cost.

The new Foundry Methodist was an auditorium church. This type was widely built by Protestant congregations after 1850, utilizing many of the features of contemporary performance halls: good acoustics, provision for organs and choirs, unobstructed view achieved with curved pews, galleries, and sloping floors, and restrained ornamentation and color. Cluss read architectural journals that often included articles on trends in church architecture. He employed many of these characteristics in his six churches, as well as in his two secular performance halls, Concordia Opera House in Baltimore, and Lincoln Hall in Washington.

A contemporary source described the new Foundry as "a gem in the ways of beauty and elegance". Its style reflected the "late Gothic and early Renaissance period in Italy". Cluss used a two-story plan, promoted in church architecture books as the most economical use of space, an important consideration in expensive urban areas. The sanctuary was located on the second floor, while the first floor consisted of rooms for Bible study and Sunday school classes. Cluss used the two-story plan also for Calvary Baptist Church, St. Stephen's Roman Catholic Church, and Chapel of St. Paul.

In later decades, the Foundry Church neighborhood became increasingly commercial. In 1902, the congregation sold their building on G street and moved to a new church at 16th and P Streets. The Cluss and Kammerhueber church was demolished in the same year.




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